Pashu Sandesh, 05 November 2018
On last Friday the 6year old tigress was shot dead following a 53 day chase in the Yavatmal forest area of the Maharashtra. Tigress popularly known as Avni has in the past killed 5 human and the Maharashtra Forest department deemed it necessary to eliminate it.
To accomplish the so called mission forest Department laid down trackers and trap cameras to locate the Tigress and finally a sharp shooter from Hyderabad was successful in shooting the Avni in the chest. The pictures released by the Forest Department showed the dead tigress with a tranquilliser dart limply attached to the hind limb. It is apparent from the pics that the Dart was placed just to justify the killing after the failed Tranquillising attempt. Why we are posing this question is simply from the fact that Maharashtra Forest Department officials did not follow the laid down guidelines before taking this inhumane decision of eliminating the Tigress.
There are many unanswered questions. Firstly why there was no attempt made to trap the Tigress? Secondly if there was an attempt to tranquillise the Tigress, why any Veterinarian was not present with the team? Why it was not ascertained the change in behaviour of the tigress which may so happen as a protective instinct towards its cubs? There are many reported instances where the man eater Tigers were trapped and rehabilitated back to their natural habitats following change in the behaviour or else put into zoos. Why such attempt were not made in the case of Tigress Avni? Was the Forest Department under pressure from the locals following so many human deaths? Why was the tigress shot first when the Forest Department had sworn an affidavit in the court about capturing the cubs first and then the mother as cubs won’t be able to survive without their mother in the wild? NTCA should take up the case and do a detailed enquiry.
The enthusiasm for the elimination of the Tigress has baffled Animal lovers and Wild life activists. Why the Forest Department has acted in such a haste is beyond many. Central Minister and champion of the Animal Rights Ms Maneka Gandhi has also written a letter to the Forest Department seeking the justification for the killing. Social Media is also abuzz with the comments of the Animal Lover Netizens.
Whatever may be said and done the fact remains that the Avni is no more. Now what is the plan of Forest Department for her cubs is remain to be seen which are doomed in the absence of the protection from their mother. This apathy shows our lame commitment toward the conservation and protection of the Tigers.